College of Science and Letters Announces Undergraduate Summer Research Stipend Winners

The College of Science and Letters (CSL) has chosen eight students to receive this year’s undergraduate summer research stipends. Funded primarily by the college’s board and alumni, the selected students will be given $5,000 for ten weeks of research with IIT faculty during the summer of 2012. The stipends allow students to gain invaluable hands-on research experience, explore their interests, and prepare for their future careers. Eligible students must be CSL majors and be nominated by IIT faculty.

  • Clara Bajzek (BIOL 3rd year) and Mitchell Dushay, assistant professor of biology, will conduct research on interactions between bacteria normally found in the gut and the immune systems of mutant Drosophila larvae.
  • Luke Burns (PHYS/CS 3rd year), along with Grant Bunker, professor of physics and CSL associate dean for research, will develop X-ray instrumentation in Bunker’s Life Sciences lab for measuring the spatial distribution of elements in biological tissues and other materials.
  • Vesela Chifchieva (MBB 4th year) will work with Joseph Orgel, associate professor of biology and biomedical engineering, to compare two methods of biglycan purification: high pressure liquid chromatography and Glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein purification.
  • Nicholas Clancy (AM 2nd year), with the help of Fred Hickernell, professor and chair of applied mathematics, will work to understand how to tune the parameters of kernel-based methods for function approximation, especially in larger dimensions.
  • Jacob Cole (PHYS/CS 3rd year), under the supervision of Carlo Segre, Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics and associate dean for graduate admissions, will assemble a Pair Distribution Function (PDF) measurement system, and use it to collect data on samples and perform analyses.
  • Duhah Hamayel (MBB 2nd year) and Thomas Irving, professor of biology and physics and executive associate chair of biology, will explore the effects of temperature gradients on muscle function in the dominant flight muscle of the Hawkmoth Manduca sexta, and study the similarities between the Manduca’s flight muscle and mammalian cardiac muscle.
  • Renar Narubin (CS 2nd year), along with Cindy Hood, associate professor of computer science and engineering and associate chair of computer science, will research and develop a prototype for a plug and play wireless sensor network to collect data for animal behavior research at Brookfield Zoo.
  • David Work (PS 3rd year) will work with Matthew Shapiro, assistant professor of political science, to develop a detailed, accurate, and up-to-date Geographic Information Systems (GIS) model of Chicago based on its socio-political characteristics.